A new fatwa

One problem that Islam has in competing with other cultures in the modern economy is that the requirement to pray five times a day -- after a ritual cleansing -- interrupts the flow of work. Even as institutions in the west seek to accommodate Muslim employees and students parts of the Islamic world are wrestling with over long prayer rituals that have gotten entirely out of control.

It appears that if an organization's employees are not be highly motivated to begin with, the devotional requirements of Islam offer a handy excuse to keep efforts at a minimum. This is an acute problem in Egypt where nepotism and corruption are widespread.  An official study of government employees estimated that the average amount of time spent actually working was an appallingly low 27 minutes per day!  The long waits this creates for Egyptian citizens and businesses seeking government services have been the source of both dissatisfaction and satire.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, member of the Muslim Brotherhood and defender of suicide bombings against Israel,  seeks to end this problem:

"Praying is a good thing ... 10 minutes should be enough," Al-Jazeera television personality Qaradawi says in a religious edict, or fatwa, published on his website. 

Some other clerics agree with the Egyptian born sheikh. While that all must pray, best keep it short and sweet.   

"He's right. I cannot say the contrary. One must not waste time at work and use prayer as the pretext," Sheikh Fawzi al-Zifzaf, of the centre of Islamic studies at Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's main seat of learning, told AFP.

s for Mohammed al-Shahhat al-Gendi, secretary general of the Council of Supreme Islamic affairs, "10 minutes are absolutely suitable for one prayer. Improving productivity is not at all contrary to Islam," 

Let us hope those who heed this fatwa use the extra time to pursue peace and prosperity, not bloodshed.
One problem that Islam has in competing with other cultures in the modern economy is that the requirement to pray five times a day -- after a ritual cleansing -- interrupts the flow of work. Even as institutions in the west seek to accommodate Muslim employees and students parts of the Islamic world are wrestling with over long prayer rituals that have gotten entirely out of control.

It appears that if an organization's employees are not be highly motivated to begin with, the devotional requirements of Islam offer a handy excuse to keep efforts at a minimum. This is an acute problem in Egypt where nepotism and corruption are widespread.  An official study of government employees estimated that the average amount of time spent actually working was an appallingly low 27 minutes per day!  The long waits this creates for Egyptian citizens and businesses seeking government services have been the source of both dissatisfaction and satire.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, member of the Muslim Brotherhood and defender of suicide bombings against Israel,  seeks to end this problem:

"Praying is a good thing ... 10 minutes should be enough," Al-Jazeera television personality Qaradawi says in a religious edict, or fatwa, published on his website. 

Some other clerics agree with the Egyptian born sheikh. While that all must pray, best keep it short and sweet.   

"He's right. I cannot say the contrary. One must not waste time at work and use prayer as the pretext," Sheikh Fawzi al-Zifzaf, of the centre of Islamic studies at Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's main seat of learning, told AFP.

s for Mohammed al-Shahhat al-Gendi, secretary general of the Council of Supreme Islamic affairs, "10 minutes are absolutely suitable for one prayer. Improving productivity is not at all contrary to Islam," 

Let us hope those who heed this fatwa use the extra time to pursue peace and prosperity, not bloodshed.